Tag Archives: reflection

The best literature revolves around a central core of an idea or emotion—what I like to call the heartbeat.  The heartbeat pumps life into every artery and vein of a story.  It unifies.  It doesn’t prevent the inclusion of other themes and motifs, but it does rise to prominence. This heartbeat almost never reveals itself during a first draft.  Our work during revision involves looking for hints of this heartbeat and drawing them forward.  One helpful technique for doing this is to write with the voice of a distanced narrator.  Rather than immersing yourself in the character who is your younger self (the former you, who experienced the events of your story), step back and reflect.  What do you make of these events today?  Why are you sharing them?  What’s at stake for you?  What might be at stake for your reader? Whether or not these reflections get included in…

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